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Development links psychological causes to evolutionary explanations

  • Mark Fedyk (a1) and Tamar Kushnir (a2)

Our conscious abilities are learned in environments that have evolved to support them. This insight provides an alternative way of framing Huang & Bargh's (H&B's) provocative hypothesis. To understand the conflict between unconscious goals and consciousness, we can study the emergence of conscious thought and control in childhood. These developmental processes are also central to the best available current evolutionary theories.

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Fedyk, M. (2014) How (not) to bring biology and psychology together. Philosophical Studies. doi: 10.1007/s11098-014-0297-9. Available at: [ePub ahead of print]
Jablonka, E. & Lamb, M. J. (2005) Evolution in four dimensions: Genetic, epigenetic, behavioral, and symbolic variation in the history of life. MIT Press.
Kushnir, T. (2012) Developing a concept of choice. In: Advances in child development and behavior: Rational constructivism in cognitive development, ed. Xu, F. & Kushnir, T., pp. 193213. Academic Press.
West-Eberhard, M. J. (2003) Evolution and developmental plasticity. University Press.
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Behavioral and Brain Sciences
  • ISSN: 0140-525X
  • EISSN: 1469-1825
  • URL: /core/journals/behavioral-and-brain-sciences
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